Average stay at a memory care home?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Piper2019, May 7, 2019.

  1. Piper2019

    Piper2019 Registered User

    Feb 26, 2019
    I know that everyone's dementia journey is different, but does anybody know the average amount of time a person will live once they require a memory care facility?

    My mom has vascular dementia and lives next to me in my condo building. My plan is to care for her there as long as I am able. I also know that when things get bad and she requires 24/7 care I will not be able to do it. I will have to place her in care.

    Is that stage considered end stage? I do not mean to sound callous, but the thought of my mother in that condition is heartbreaking to me and I do not want for her to be in misery and have it drag on and on.
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Applying a global average to an individual is rather crude, however >>>this<<< may help.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I am assuming that you are living in US.
    Care can be very different there and your memory facility is not quite the same as our care home, so any statistics from UK will not be valid in US.

    Please dont think, though that people who live in care homes/memory facility are necessarily unhappy. My mum lived in her care home for nearly 3 years as she could not be kept safe in her own home. She settled there and was content. I used to visit her and she was a lot of fun. I have happy memories of my visits and our outings. There were tough times, of course - bad visits when she in a mood, or crying, the times she was ill or ended up in hospital and seeing the progression was sad, but it wasnt all bad.

    There will probably come a time when the condo is not the best place for your mum and the dementia will be too much for you. When that time comes and you have to move her into a memory facility, please dont feel guilty or feel that you have in any way failed her.
  4. Piper2019

    Piper2019 Registered User

    Feb 26, 2019
    Thank you. That was some interesting data.
  5. Piper2019

    Piper2019 Registered User

    Feb 26, 2019
    Thank you Canary. I've read lots of your helpful posts and you did a great job with your mom.

    My mom's biggest fear is being put in a care home. She has made that clear all her life. If she is with it enough to know what is happening, then I will do everything I can to extend her living in her condo which she loves. She has an excellent water view and loves to sit and watch the boats go by. I imagine I will have to eventually hire help to come in and help me. I plan to install a nanny cam and I will do things like disconnect the stove if I think there is any risk of her leaving it on. Her floors and showers are safety proof and there are no steps. I'm going to do all I can to keep her there as long as I can.

    I sometimes think I read too much. I'm so afraid of late stage dementia when the person doesn't even know who you are, those posts and stories are heartbreaking to say the least. That's kind of what I was wondering, how long does end stage last?
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It was my mums too. She tried to make me promise that I would never "put her in a home" and fought tooth and nail against going. She probably should have moved earlier, but mum would have none of it and refused everything - professional cares, doctors - the lot. Half the time she wouldnt even let me in as she thought I was doing awful things. By this stage she couldnt even make herself a cup of tea, let alone anything else, no longer recognised her own home and started going walkabout during the middle of the night wearing only her nighty or an unfastened dressing gown and banging on the neighbours doors at silly o'clock in the morning because she didnt know where she was. It was only when she had a TIA and was taken to hospital and found to be severely dehydrated and malnourished that she got the care she needed. With her history I was amazed that mum settled there, but she did. Not only that but she thrived; she put on some weight, lost all her paranoia and aggression, joined in with all the activities (until they got beyond her) and made friends. It was truly the best thing to happen to her
    It doesnt always happen. Mum knew who I was right up till the end. Oh, she couldnt always remember my name and relationships were tricky things, but she knew who I was and her face lit up every time I visited her.
    How long is a piece of string? In mums case she went downhill quite quickly and the end stage lasted mere weeks. With other people it can go on for months and I have read of one person who was at the end stage for 3 years. There is just no knowing.
  7. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    When my mother-in-law was in a care home, the manager told me the average stay was between 5 weeks and 2 years. My mother-in-law lasted 6 weeks
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    My husband spent 4 years in his nursing home and the experience for him and his family was a very good one.

    For the last 6 years of his life he did not recognise me as his wife but apart from him asking me where I was he was happy and content to stay with me, he knew I was as special to him as he was to me. He lived with Alzheimer’s for 11 years, at home with me for 7 years and in the nursing home for 4 years. He was 73 when he died.

    The four years were good years, I became his wife again and felt we had gained more than we had lost.
  9. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers mid 2013, but symptoms 2 yrs prior.
    She went into a secure Dementia Facility mid 2016.
    For Mum it was the best decision and a lot of anxiety and agitation living at home was reduced.
    She was good for about 18 mnths until early 2018, when repeat UTI,s , shingles, 2 falls, 2 chest infections have now made it necessary for Mum to be moved to the Hospital/Nursing unit in Feb, as she is now in end stage and has lost mobility.
    She recognises us by our face, but not by name or relationship, but in saying that she did say my name first time in nearly 4 mnths the other week.
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    The one thing you can be pretty sure of with this disease is that you can't predict anything. Each person is different.

    I'm just back from visiting my mother in her care home. She moved there 15 months ago, at that time I'd say she was late mid-stage and I'd say still is, although she has deteriorated slightly - anyway, she's definitely not end stage yet. She was no longer safe at home, she had carers for 6 hours a day but she lived alone and needed supervision 24/7. There comes a point for many people with dementia when being alone makes them very anxious, so apart from the safety aspect she also needed constant company. Now there is always someone she can call on any time, and she is no longer anxious.

    The other residents in her care home are at various stages but are mainly mid stage. They all seem very content, including my mother who loves it there.

    I should say that my mother has not remembered anyone's name for years, even back when she was still living independently! She calls everyone darling. She knows that she knows me and says it's lovely to see me, but I am not convinced she knows who I am.
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    My mother went into her dementia-only care home at 89, and was there until she died shortly after her 97th birthday. She came from a large and long-lived family, but even so none of the others had made it past 89. So we had never expected her to go on nearly as long. (That must surely say something about the care she received.). Though TBH she was in such a pitiful state during her last few years, a swifter end would have been more merciful.

    Having said that, during her very nearly 8 years there, I saw so many other residents arrive, decline, and quietly disappear, so she certainly wasn't remotely typical. I would think 2-4 years was more normal - though at least one lasted only a few months - and of course so much will depend on a person's physical health to start with. Despite her apparent frailty my mother's was very robust, so that she very easily recovered from a broken hip at over 90 - so often the beginning of the end for many.
  12. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    High Peak
    Two years and four months for my mum - so far! Nothing wrong with her apart from dementia, though she did break her hip a year ago. She recovered well enough from that and is still mobile, albeit with a frame.

    I'd say mum is late stage 6 now. She needs help with everything and although she converses readily, what she says makes little sense and she lives in a world of delusion. Her cognition has deteriorated significantly in the last 6 months and I sense a change... She is becoming more... hmmm.... distant? Detached? Her world is closing down though I don't see her dying anytime soon. She is 87.
  13. Franker

    Franker Registered User

    Jun 3, 2017
    I was always terrified of the late stages of dementia. My mum is 73 and was officially diagnosed 8 years ago though we suspected about 10 years ago. She lives in a care facility and is wheelchair bound, can do nothing for herself, has her eyes closed most of the time, even when awake when we visit. I was always fearful of her being aggressive toward me at this stage but at this moment, she seems very content when we visit and serene. We are still able to share laughs. While she does not know who I am, her face softens when I arrive and say hello. She loves when my sisters and brother are close to her. I have let go of who she was and luckily, for now, am able to bring joy and comfort during our visits and she to me. I am afraid of her encountering pain down the line, of not being able to swallow, and of losing my physical connection to her, of her being permanently gone. But it is one day at a time. Reading posts here has been very helpful. Feeling the power of people who are on similar journeys. Lots of love to you xxx
  14. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    OH was in a care home for 3 months only before he died. A friend of ours is in the same care home and is now into his 4th years there.

    Everybody is different.
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hi Franker and welcome to Talking Point.

    Dont be afraid of the advanced stages. My mum went through the loss of swallow and passed away, but she was given pain killers to control the pain and eventually passed away peacefully. Mum passed away in her care home, but I am assuming that you are in US, where the care model is somewhat different. You will find that in US people in the final stages of dementia are referred to a hospice, where they understand how to make them comfortable and pain-free.It is not an easy stage, but not one to be feared.

    Re the closing of her eyes, even when awake - lots of people with dementia do this once they reach the advanced stages. I think it is to cut out stimulation that their brain can no longer cope with - it is enough for them to concentrate on sound, the feel of things on their skin and internal body sensations.

    I am glad that you are able to bring joy and comfort to her during your visits and it sound like your visits are able to bring comfort to you also

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